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Building Judo In America

2023 USJF Fall National Championships

Open to members with current membership in either USJF, USJA or USA Judo.

  • USJF/USJA members get a 10% discount on the entry fee with Coupon code:  USJF10.

Date: October 28, 2023

Location: City College of San Francisco, 50 Frida Kahlo Way, San Francisco, Ca.

Registration in now OPEN

Donate to the Hawaii Community Foundation’s Maui Strong Fund

The Hawaii Bankers Association are coordinating with all local banks to collect for the HBA’s Aloha for Maui program which in turn will be donated to the Hawaii Community Foundation’s Maui Strong Fund.  100% of the money they receive will go directly to help the people in Maui.

Edward Hanashiro, USJF 1st Vice President – 50th State Yudanshakai

In the News

USJF Event Medical Professional Liability Program

USJF Event Medical Professional Liability Program

The 2023-24 USJF Event Medical Professional Liability Program Summary & Enrollment Forms are available. This program is an easy way to show your appreciation for your volunteer Medical Staff at your event and provide them with Medical Liability coverage for...

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Natalie Roy

Natalie Roy

Natalie Roy © 2023 Sensei Steven Nohara Natalie Roy Inducted 2023 Proposal Letter To: United States Judo Federation (USJF), USJF Lifetime Achievement Award Committee Attn: Mr. Neil Simon, Chair – USJF Lifetime Achievement Award From: Nathan Lee, President – 50th State...

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Michael Pratt

Michael Pratt

Michael Pratt © 2023, USJF, all rights reserved Michael Pratt Inducted 2023 Judo Biography Pratt,is a native of Eastern Oregon raised on a small farm near Adrian Oregon and retired co-owner of Kinney & Keele T.V. Hardware, began his judo career rather late...

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Ferdinand Tihista

Ferdinand Tihista

Ferdinand Tihista © 2023, USJF, all rights reserved Ferdinand Tihista Inducted 2023. Judo Biography He was born on December 24, 1927 in Marysville, California. Moved to the Salinas and graduated from Salinas High School. High school wrestler and body builder Started...

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United States Judo Federation

Koka Kids

SHAPE America

The USJF Development committee has align its Jr Rank Requirements with SHAPE America.  SHAPE America is our national standards framework for K-12 Physical Education that defines what a student should know and be able to do at each stage of developing physically literate individuals who have the knowledge, skills and confidence to enjoy a lifetime of healthy physical activity.

White/Yellow Belt

Yellow Belt

Yellow/Orange Belt

Orange Belt

Orange/Green Belt

Green Belt

Green/Blue Belt

Blue/Purple Advance Belt

Presidents Address

Mitchell Palacio

To the USJF Community

March 15, 2023

Regarding the Recent Withdrawal by USA Judo from the American Judo Alliance Development and Cooperation Agreement (AJADCA)

Dear Members;

USA Judo recently announced that it was terminating their participation in the above referenced agreement. USJF leadership are disappointed by this turn of events and the refusal of USA Judo to come to the table to discuss how the agreement could have been improved for the benefit of all organizations and the American judo community. In this announcement, we would like to make clear what has happened until this point and our vision for moving forward.

How did we get Here?

In 2018, despite the obvious inequalities that existed in the agreement concerning tournament participation; the recognition of referee, kata, teacher, and coach certifications; and several other areas, the USJF agreed to enter into the agreement in the spirit of cooperation and for the potential betterment and development of judo in the U.S. Years later, however, the effects of the agreement have clearly been detrimental to the USJF in a number of ways, and the USJF has intended to work with USA Judo (and the other participant in the agreement, the USJA) to find a better solution for all parties involved.

With that intent, the USJF formed a negotiation team to engage with USA Judo to work toward a better solution. We contacted USA Judo, who provided us with a list of benefits that have been accrued through the agreement. Upon noting that none of the benefits were received by the USJF, USA Judo took the unprecedented step of abruptly walking away from the discussions and curtailing any future negotiation, despite our attempts to schedule such meetings and despite our request to extend the 14 March 2023 expiration date on a month-by-month basis for up to six months, to which USA Judo initially signaled agreement. Then, while waiting for a response from USA Judo to our multiple meeting requests, USA Judo simply announced their intentions via their website, without the courtesy of informing us. For full transparency, the negotiation team is happy to share the entire communication exchange with any USJF member upon request.

Also important to note is that, in their recent announcement, USA Judo has also withdrawn from the “open tournament agreement” that has been in place since 1988, in which all American judoists could participate in any event sanctioned by any of the three organizations, and which was a monumental step forward for the development of judo and for cooperation among the organizations. We view their one-sided position on this extremely important agreement to close their events as toxic to the growth of judo in the country.

In sum, we view the way in which this process has unfolded, and the positions USA Judo has recently taken, as disrespectful, disingenuous, and against the intent of the original agreement and the spirit of judo. It is a slap in the face of all USJF members.

Moving Forward

Make no mistake, the USJF is poised now more than ever to have a thriving, successful, vibrant organization that grows regularly every year and provides the best judo instruction and participation avenues in the U.S.

To this end, and given USA Judo’s unfortunate position to close their events and to go back three-and-a-half decades, this is the position the USJF now must adopt, effective as of the date of this announcement, 15 March 2023:

  • The USJF has signed an agreement with USJA that reinstates and confirms our reciprocal agreement with regard to participation in USJF or USJA sanctioned events. This means that:
  • With the exception of rank promotion and examination events, USJF sanctioned events will allow both USJF and USJA members to participate; likewise, USJA sanctioned events will allow both USJF and USJA members to participate.
    1. NB: Any participation by a non-USJF or non-USJA member in a USJF sanctioned event will void the warranty requirements of our insurance policies and void all coverages for everyone involved. Only people with USJF or USJA membership and certification may participate.
  • USJF sanctioned events will recognize only USJF, USJA, and any international (e.g., PJC, IJF) certifications for referee, kata, teacher, and coaches.
    1. NB: Any participation by an individual without USJF or USJA membership and certification will void liability and accident medical coverages.
  • USJF members’ participant accident insurance will notcover any injuries sustained at a non-USJF or non-USJA sanctioned event, nor while participating in any activity at a non-USJF or non-USJA member judo club.

As we move forward, there will undoubtedly be other changes that the USJF will adopt in order to continue to grow judo and to protect all of our members’ interests, in the spirit of the Amateur Sports Act passed by Congress over four decades ago. Throughout, we will be as transparent as possible, and will conduct ourselves with the dignity and honor that the USJF is known for as the oldest and strongest judo organization in the country.


Educational Portal


Education – Certifications

For Judoka’s at Every Level

Our Vision: 

Building strong wellness communities by empowering members to make known the Judo maxim, Jita-kyoei (spirit of mutual prosperity for self and others), through safe and positive experiences.

Our Mission:

Promote and support Judo as a physical, mental, and moral practice.


News and Events

Covid 19 Update

The latest COVID guidelines from the Medical Committee for dojos and events.

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Judo Profiles

Brandon Kindelberger

Brandon Kindelberger

USJF STORY~ Brandon Kindelberger Madagascar!? “My name is Brandon Kindelberger and I’m a member of USJF. I’m okay to say that I am a ‘no name’ within the judo community. I can’t boast on any big competition wins, but I can say that judo has been a part of my life...

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Krista Tsutsui Steele

Krista Tsutsui Steele

USJF STORY~ Krista Tsutsui Steele Fresno, CA -----> Seattle, WA “I’m Krista Tsutsui Steele and I’m a member of USJF. My judo story starts back in the 90s at the Fowler Judo Club in Central California where my dad took my siblings and me to learn the sport he grew...

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Sayaka Torra

Sayaka Torra

USJF STORY~ Sayaka Torra I’m Sayaka Torra and I’ve been a member of USJF for over 30 years. I’m a 5th degree black belt, 2008 Olympian, and Senior Instructor at the East Bay Judo Institute. My dad, David Matsumoto, became the head instructor of EBJI in 1983 and 38...

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Road Map back to Safe Practice

Building the Community

pathway to success

Pathways Toward Success

When your son or daughter participates in Judo through a charter club approved by the United States Judo Federation, they will have quality instruction and a positive experience which will enrich their lives as they grow and mature. 

teacher certification


The United States Judo Federation Teachers Institute, with its long standing tradition of technical excellence in teaching and coaching is committed to serving our members with the latest information and procedures.  In addition, certification in Self Defense Instruction, National refereeing and kata judging are offered.

Video Resources

Many dojos have had to adjust to a hybrid-remote model, a combination of in-person and virtual blended instruction.  The USJF videos are available to all sensei’s and coaches. Our hope is that these videos serve as useful learning tools for your practice.

Obukan Judo Club

the Community

The USJF is committed in supporting the dojo/club. 

Judo participation can provide the space for healthy activities and access to areas where people come together, and foster outlets for physical and mental health recovery.

USJF committee meeting

USJF National Committees

Voluntary committee members are dedicated to the continuous improvement of our members and their communities by providing research, experience, education and diversity in the interest of the betterment of man-kind through the practice and study of judo.

YDK tournament pic

Yudanshakai (Regions)

Being the oldest Judo organization in the USA, the USJF was originally called the Judo Black Belt Federation (JBBF). It was organized around regional/local Yudanshakai (black belt associations). The purpose of the Yudanshakai is to promote judo in its own area and run local events.

United States Judo Federation

When you join the USJF not only will you enjoy the benefits it offers, you will have access to resources and a knowledge base that will serve to educate and enhance your enjoyment of this great sport.

Dojo’s Making a Difference in their Community


Obukan Judo Dojo

Portland, Oregon